Times of Grace is somewhat of a holy grail for metal fans. The love child of Killswitch Engage’s charismatic larrikin lead guitarist Adam D and Ex-Killswitch Engage vocalist turn current Killswitch Engage Vocalist Jesse Leach, it’s a gold mine on paper and one of the most incredible collaborations this decade. With their 2011 release The Hymn of A Broken Man blowing so many minds and stretching the seams of the genre, Times Of Grace found themselves on the bill for this year’s Soundwave Festival. I was fortunate to catch up with these two gods of metal prior to their sidewave show with Machine Head.
Music Feeds: Gentlemen, how has the tour been going so far?
Jesse Leach: Real good man, super easy!
Adam D: It’s been awesome
MF: Jesse, I understand this is your first time in Australia?
JL: It is! I’m loving it; the people are great, haven’t had too much time to get out and see anything, but yeah, it’s great man.
MF: Well, I apologise for the weather on behalf of Australia!
JL: Haha! You’re funny man, no dramas, it’s been fine.
AD: I hope we get a day at least though. I’m going swimming in Perth, no matter what. Dammit!
JL: We should man, let’s go even if it’s raining.
AD: Yeah, we’re going to be getting wet anyway, makes sense.
MF: Well that’s when the shark attacks happen isn’t it? When you swim in the rain?
AD: Oh…great. I’m still going haha! I’ve swum with sharks before; it’s not that bad.
JL: That’s a great way to die.
MF: I’m really interested to know guys, how did this all start? There was a 10-year gap between when you left Killswitch Jessie; how did everything fall into place?
AD: Well, it’s probably been about 5 years now we’ve spent on Times of Grace, this whole…journey!
JL: Yeah, it all started with this guy on his back in hospital.
AD: Yeah, I got hurt while on stage with Killswitch in Europe and I was stuck in a hospital bed for about 3 weeks, got pretty bummed out at that and just started writing music in my brain, to keep me forward thinking and put me in a happier place, pretty much wrote a whole record in my head. When I got home, I put it all on a demo tape, wrote down some lyrics and stuff, but then I realised I’m not very good at those…so I called [Jesse] to come in and help.
JL: Then I came in and I totally blew it…
AD: Oh Wah…no you didn’t…
MF: I know that after Killswitch, Jesse, you went on record saying that you were totally done with music for good?
JL: Yeah, that lasted about a month haha. I was like ‘screw this I want to be a mercenary, I want to go to Africa’, then a month later I started a new band and that was it…I was back in it again. I love to play music.
MF: Well as lame as this sounds, I guess you’re a rock star… Surely you can’t stop!
JL: Haha…well I guess…
AD: Haha! It’s true.
MF: I think so…I mean you guys may not realise the impact you’ve had on Australia…Alive or Just Breathing, Jesse, was HUGE here…and Adam you produced two Parkway Drive albums, which affected our whole economy!
AD: That’s actually a really good way to put it!
JL: Yeah, those guys are huge over here.
MF: So Adam, I’ll admit I was a little nervous coming in today, I’ve heard interviews with you where you openly say you hate emo’s…and I’m a little of an emo, my jeans are pretty skinny…
AD: Haha! No way man you’re not an emo at all!
JL Haha! It’s all just a joke man, we’re all emo a little bit. [Adam]’s a big guy but he’s super sensitive, we just don’t have our hair in our faces!
MF: So back on topic…Adam apparently you started the album by humming the songs while you were in hospital, and as you mentioned before, Jesse, you helped with the lyrics and vocals; was it just you two who contributed to the album?
AD: I recorded everything myself, then we threw the lyrics on them! This was a totally different thing though; I’ve never made a record all on my own. I guess writing a record in that way, it kind of felt like I was getting something out of me, totally spitting it out.
JL: Yeah, we picked up all the other guys along the way.
AD: Based on how well they hold their liquor…
JL: We did a quick audition process and that’s how we met our drummer Dan, who’s now one of our best friends. He’s the only one we got through that process, the others we’ve known and played with for years…pretty much all friends with the exception of Dan, who’s now like a brother.
MF: So it’s totally organic bromance?
AD: Haha yes!
JL: Yeah man, total bromance, just a bunch of bro’s hanging out doing stupid shit.
MF: There’s been a lot of talk in the news about your future plans, Jesse; I’ve read over the Internet that you’ve confirmed that you’ll be re-joining Killswitch Engage?
JL: Yes, I am back in Killswitch Engage.
AD: Yes, and he has one chance. [Both burst out laughing] We’re giving him one show to try out and every time he makes a mistake we’re going to cut off one of his fingers. And when he’s out of fingers he’s out of the band; he’ll be stuck with stumps screaming “I didn’t make it!’
JL: Haha, no but it’s all happening, I haven’t really had time to process it though; it will hit me, just not yet. Working on a new record as soon as we get home.
MF: Going back to Soundwave, who’s been the best band you’ve seen so far?
JL: Best band? Mastadon. And I’ve never said this to anyone before, but I’ve never seen Lamb Of God and they were out of control!
AD: I completely hate festivals and I hate being sober so what I do is get there, get wasted, play my songs then leave to go get wasted somewhere else. On my own. ALONE. I ONLY DRINK ALONE! But I was excited to see Meshuggah. I’ve been in strange spirits, I guess I have an injured knee so I can’t really walk around and see everyone I wanted to see.
MF: Well, you could if you hardened up…
JL: Yeah dude, harden up!
MF: Well, we’re out of time now guys. I’d best be off; it’s been an honour and a privilage and I shall catch you tonight with Machine Head!
AD: Thanks so much man, it’s been fun.
JL: Thanks dude!
It was hard to stay on topic but in the end with face-to-face interviews, the interviewer usually asserts control, but these two totally took the reigns. Their personalities shine through in their music and in their stage performances making Times Of Grace one of the greatest and funniest bands touring for the Soundwave Festival. If I were you, I’d jump on the bandwagon for this band as it seems to be only going good places.